What we can learn from animals
It can be very interesting to examine animals in their behavior as they have something of which we humans lack. Animals are perfectly integrated in the natural order of creation, where we humans have fallen out of this order, out of paradise. We human beings have not the slightest idea of the laws of creation, of nature or the universe we live in. We are the most ignorant species which exist on earth. And we are the only species which is misbehaving against nature in a most amazing way. But this is here not the topic.
Imagine that you observe a human being in all kinds of situations. What is most striking? There is nearly not a single situation where the human being does not complain about something or is dissatisfied or wants something better or more, etc.
Now imagine that you observe an animal in all kinds of situations. What is most striking here? The animal does not complain, even if it were able to complain, it wouldn´t. Why? Because it is integrated into nature and not seemingly separated from it like we humans.
We could say that animals show a kind of positive indifference or equanimity towards the circumstances of their life. They simply recognize that it is warm or cold outside, that the sun shines or that it rains and it is simply okay for them. They accept it and they take action. If it rains they look for a dry place. If it is too hot, they go into the shadow of a tree. If they are tired they take a nap. If they need to eat, they look for food. Their whole behavior is simply logical and works according to the laws of nature. They wouldn´t drink a coffee to wake up, even if they were able to. They wouldn´t do a lot of things which we humans do daily. Animals are not as stupid as human beings. They simply enjoy life and manage all situations without complaining, without emotional suffering or having bad thoughts on mind. Even when something really bad happens to an animal, the animal takes it with a certain equanimity and life goes on.
This positive form of equanimity or indifference towards the events or circumstances of life is taught in most spiritual traditions. In fact it makes things easier as you are no longer attached to this or that where you connect your personal happiness or comfort to. People are so fixed to their comfort zones, to their special conditions of life, that they easily fall into a pit when something is different to the normal experience.
Maybe you know this example. You are sitting in a Café with a friend and you order your drinks. Your friend has an extra condition for her water, – still water without ice but with one slice of lemon. The Café is full, the waitress in stress and so the water arrives with ice and without the slice of lemon. And now the whole world is collapsing – the evil waitress!!! Your friend is angry, making trouble, saying that she cannot drink such water… So certainly you can react in such an emotional way or you can keep cool, you show this positive equanimity and just drink the water without complaining.
Indeed there are countless examples where you survive although the situation is different to your expectations, your wishes and ideas. It already starts with the weather, – it is always too cold, too hot, too windy, too dry, too rainy and as soon as you recognize this your mood is down and you feel in imbalance. Imagine, instead of complaining, people just would wear the right cloths and everything is fine.
These things are also true for bad events where real suffering happens. If you have bad luck, a disease and accident or whatever, you can complain endlessly or you can pass it and go on. It is your decision and guess what is easier?!
In conclusion, humans have a tendency to create an artificial, limited comfort zone with special conditions. As soon as they are forced to leave it, they are near to collapsing as their whole world is breaking down. Then it is very hard to come back to a normal level. (Remember the wrong glass of water which can kill the mood for hours.) Animals do not know something like a comfort zone as they are completely integrated in the world with all conditions. So they are free, have a simpler life, without emotional roller coaster rides. So they are able to maintain inner peace, also to keep their energy for really important things. They are masters in just being, being one with nature, enjoying nature. They are not fixed in showing any kind of performance like we humans.
Spiritual masters show nearly the same positive equanimity or indifference to the events or situations of life. They enjoy the good situations and pass the bad ones. They know about the dualism of life and creation and they keep their inner peace and balance, they stay centered, always ready to take action in the right way.
So indeed this is a healthy and useful attitude and I can only recommend to observe animals and their behavior as you can learn a lot. They are still in paradise and it is up to us to find the right way to enter paradise again. It is our great challenge to integrate again in the natural-divine order of creation. Otherwise we appear like parasites where the host is trying to get rid of them.
So try to learn how to simplify your comfort zone, how to extend it or maybe how to dissolve it, so that you liberate yourself from illusionary nonsense. But certainly pay respect to the laws of wisdom and don´t force yourself to something which you cannot manage. Make it in steps. Think about your artificial conditions of life, where they come from and if they are really useful. These can be quite simple things. For example, if you say that you drink only coffee, then try to drink different teas. Probably you discover that you do not die from drinking tea and that there are teas which have a good taste. Indeed there are countless possibilities to expand your personal limitations. Just try it and become fascinated of yourself!
Liberate yourself from useless limitations! Simplify your life! Accomplish a higher, inner harmony and feeling of being centered, independent from the events of life!
Spiritual development is all about liberty.